Thousands of absentee ballots for the January 31st Republican Primary are being mailed today. Ballots for overseas Florida voters went out earlier this month. An estimated 370-thousand people will vote absentee in Florida. Which means, as Whitney Ray tells us, GOP candidates must keep an eye on Florida even as they ramp up efforts in states voting earlier.
With Ron Paul leading in the polls in Iowa and other GOP candidates fueling up for bus tours in the Hawkeye state, Florida’s January 31st primary seems far away.
But starting Tuesday, the first of more than an estimated 370-thousand absentee ballots were mailed. Overseas ballots went out even earlier. Chris Cate, Spokesman for the Florida Division of Elections, says even though the state technically votes fourth, absentee ballots are already being filled out.
“If you don’t have a request in yet, you still have time to do so. You can actually request an absentee ballot all the way up through Election Day,” said Cate.
This means multi-tasking for GOP candidates. They have to keep an eye on Florida even while they’re stumping in states voting earlier.
It’s an obstacle Herman Cain doesn’t have to worry about. Cain suspended his campaign, but his name will still appear on the ballot. So will Gary Johnson. The former New Mexico governor is leaving the primary to run as a Libertarian.
“We have nine eligible candidates on the Republican ballot and that does include Herman Cain and Gary Johnson,” said Cate.
Their votes will be counted, but neither candidate is expected to get much support in Florida. Voters can request an absentee ballot either by phone or online from the supervisor of elections in the county where they are registered. The ballots must be received by the supervisor on or before January 31st.